My deer hunting buddies are all lamenting the fact that another deer season has ended and they did not kill “the big one” or they did not kill one at all!
But, us spring turkey hunters are getting our caller out and checking out our gear and smiling with each passing day that the spring season only 5 weeks away. There is however, another group of hunters who think February is a great month for hunting!
I am talking about the small game hunters who can run their beagles after rabbits without interference from deer hunters. The squirrel hunters who can find a limit of “Alabama limb chickens” and have a great time doing it while introducing youngsters to the thrill of trying to knock a squirrel out with a 410 or a 22. Laughing and missing your shots as the little bushy tail varmints make you look silly trying to deliver a dose of lead poison from 70 feet below while he bounds from tree to tree with acrobatic moves that rival the best leaps of a spider monkey. I have enjoyed many wonderful squirrel hunts where we would just go for an extended walk through the woods, pulling vines and shaking limbs to get the squirrels to panic and take off careening through the tree tops with us in hot pursuit. Other hunts were more traditional, doing a spot and stalk or just still hunting under the canopy of live oaks and water oaks down in the river swamp.Each one can be a great adventure with a tasty reward of some fine squirrel dumpling, squirrel stew or my favorite, fried squirrel and gravy with biscuits! YUM!
Many hunters have now found a different type of February hunting quarry that offers more challenge and also provides a great service to all of us who try to help our game species populations thrive. I am talking about the guys who have discovered predator hunting for coyotes, bobcats and fox.
The coyote in particular has grown so much in population and range, that they are a real threat to the deer population in Alabama. White tail fawns are falling victim to coyotes in an increasing rate with some estimates of up to 50% predation. I am for a zero rate of predation on the fawns since one of them could grow up to be a future wall hanger but, instead it just made into a dinner for a litter of coyote pups.
With the increase in game cameras operating year round on many properties, the evidence is captured for all to see and it is sad to see so many coyotes walking by with a fawn dangling from their jaws. I hope all the coyote hunters have a lot of success and take down all the coyotes that come running in to that squealing rabbit call. If you like action, Coyotes can bring it and you are doing all your fellow hunters a favor by doing in some of the “devil dogs”.
Hogs, like coyotes are on the rise in population in dramatic fashion all across our state. A sow hog can have several litters of pigs a year and at a dozen per litter you do the math on how many of the little rooters are made each year.
Hogs are prolific breeders and prolific feeders. They will eat up, root up, tear up your food plots, farmers’ row crops, bird and turkey nests and even eat the eggs! They will eat anything they can chew from a snake to an ear of corn and love them both. Hogs love acorns, shrubs, berries, grasses clovers. Chufas patches don’t stand a chance if a herd of hogs find them. They kill trees and saplings through their rooting around and digging up bulbs, mushrooms and the roots of various plants.
Hogs travel long distances, mostly at night in search of food and the can show up on your property and create some major damage. There are a number of hunters who have taken hog hunting hunting to a whole new level and in the process created opportunities to assist land owners with Hog control while providing hunting opportunities for fellow hunters to go hog hunting without all the leg work.
One such hunting service is right here in the river region, Alabama Hog Control offers hog hunts on various properties around the region where the land owner gets the benefit of hog removal, the hunters get the benefit of some great hunting action and the owners of Alabama Hog Control handles the coordination of the event to the benefit of all parties. If you would like to try out some hog hunting action, give Barry or Bart Estes a call and they can get you in on some “hoggin”. Barry’s number is 334-301-0179 and Bart’s is 334-303-4599. Or you can look them up on the web http://alabamahogcontrol.com/
Hunting season is far from over, all you got to do is get out there and try some of the fantastic February hunting opportunities in our great central Alabama Outdoors.
POSTOAK ….. outdoors.